Article

Profitable Recycling of Low-Cobalt Lithium-Ion Batteries Will Depend on New Process Developments

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Abstract

The rapidly growing fleet of electric vehicles contributes to transforming transport but presents challenges for managing spent lithium-ion batteries in the coming decades. Recently in Joule, Chen et al. reviewed the advantages and limitations of existing lithium-ion-battery recycling processes. To scale rapidly, recycling must be profitable, even for low-cobalt batteries.

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... It has been projected that by 2030, the sales for EVs will grow to over 11 million, as well as the demand for stationary electric storage facilities and consumer electronics (Pillot, 2019). This causes the use of LIBs to grow rapidly mainly for manufacturing the EVs (Gaines, 2019). ...
... The automotive industry is under pressure to change its approach to the management and discharge of EVs at EoL. Specifically, the decommissioning of LIBs represents a complex and challenging process (Danino-Perraud, 2020;Gaines, 2019;Harper et al., 2019). The rapid increase in sales of EVs is intensifying this issue and at the same time is creating a scarcity of the natural resources required for their production processes such as lithium, cobalt, manganese, nickel, and graphite. ...
... The ability to recover Aluminum is one of the advantages of Hydrometallurgy (Harper et al., 2019). High production cost and complexity of the processes are the main disadvantages of the direct recycling method, but the process can recover Lithium properly (Gaines, 2019). ...
Article
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End of life (EoL) management of the electric vehicles lithium-ion batteries (EVs-LIBs) has become a vital part of circular economy practices, especially in the European Union (EU). Consequently, manufacturers must develop EoL management of EVs-LIBs through reverse logistics (RLs) activities, which are bounded with many implementation barriers. Although several studies have been accomplished for RLs barrier analysis in various industries, less attention has been devoted to identifying and systematically analysing barriers of EVs-LIBs RLs. The purpose of this study is to identify a comprehensive list of the main barriers to the successful implementation of EVs-LIBs RLs practices. Based on the inputs from European industrial experts, an integrated approach of Total Interpretive Structural Modelling (TISM) and Cross-Impact Matrix Multiplication Applied to Classification (MICMAC) was applied to develop a hierarchical model based on the defined barrier categories. Finally, the most dominant barrier categories to the successful implementation of RLs activities for EVs-LIBs were prioritised to provide insights to industrial decision-makers and policymakers. Data were gathered using a questionnaire survey, which was distributed to various experts in EVs-LIBs manufacturing/recycling and EVs manufacturing companies. The findings revealed that ‘market and social’, and ‘policy and regulations’ categories are the two most influencing barriers to the implementation of EVs-LIBs RLs. This study lays the foundation for future research on the RLs activities for EVs-LIBs in a time that EU regulations on the circular economy are mandating all auto manufacturing companies to deal with their EoL wastes.
... The past decade has seen a significant increase in battery markets and a considerable number of national and international efforts by the private and public sectors have documented reviews focusing on the recycling of batteries, in particular LIBs [23]. Although the current discussion around battery reuse and recycling have been met with differing opinions, a significant number of these are around changing battery chemistries [23][24][25][26][27], geographical location [28], economic [24,[29][30][31][32][33][34][35], environmental [36,37], and governmental regulations [33], materials security [38], safety and waste management regulations [39], societal benefits and globally as we transition from a linear to Circular Economy [7]. Consequently, different countries are progressing down different pathways to address their immediate challenges. ...
... However, the current hydrogen fuel cell technology has several barriers to overcome before it can compete with EVs, including high cost and safety issues (hydrogen gas), building hydrogen infrastructure and therefore, companies are still actively investing in R&D to develop alternative low-cost fuel cells [47]. The impact of low cobalt LIBs and possible solutions was discussed by Gaines recently [26] where the profitability of recycling low cobalt content LIBs will depend on the advancement of recycling technology, rely on subsidies and/or government regulations [26]. ...
... However, the current hydrogen fuel cell technology has several barriers to overcome before it can compete with EVs, including high cost and safety issues (hydrogen gas), building hydrogen infrastructure and therefore, companies are still actively investing in R&D to develop alternative low-cost fuel cells [47]. The impact of low cobalt LIBs and possible solutions was discussed by Gaines recently [26] where the profitability of recycling low cobalt content LIBs will depend on the advancement of recycling technology, rely on subsidies and/or government regulations [26]. ...
Article
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The rapid growth, demand, and production of batteries to meet various emerging applications, such as electric vehicles and energy storage systems, will result in waste and disposal problems in the next few years as these batteries reach end-of-life. Battery reuse and recycling are becoming urgent worldwide priorities to protect the environment and address the increasing need for critical metals. As a review article, this paper reveals the current global battery market and global battery waste status from which the main battery chemistry types and their management, including reuse and recycling status, are discussed. This review then presents details of the challenges, opportunities, and arguments on battery second-life and recycling. The recent research and industrial activities in the battery reuse domain are summarized to provide a landscape picture and valuable insight into battery reuse and recycling for industries, scientific research, and waste management.
... Other very detailed summaries are provided by Zheng et al. [7], who describe recycling processes for metal extraction such as pyrometallurgy, hydrometallurgy, biometallurgy, and so forth; Zhao et al. [46], who discussed leading technologies and issues in the disposal of spent LIBs from EVs; Gaines et al. [47] brought insight into profitable recycling of LIBs containing a low contribution of Co, while considering new process developments. ...
... [45] Review 2019 A comprehensive review of Li recovery processes. [47] Editorial Material 2019 Discussion of profitable recycling of low Co LIBs considering new process developments. [48] Editorial Material 2018 Study of currently used recycling strategies for LIBs. ...
Article
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Lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) are crucial for consumer electronics, complex energy storage systems, space applications, and the automotive industry. The increasing requirements for decarbonization and CO2 emissions reduction affect the composition of new production. Thus, the entire automotive sector experiences its turning point; the production capacities of new internal combustion engine vehicles are limited, and the demand for electric vehicles (EVs) has continuously increased over the past years. The growing number of new EVs leads to an increasing amount of automotive waste, namely spent LIBs. Recycling appears to be the most suitable solution for lowering EV prices and reducing environmental impacts; however, it is still not a well-established process. This work is the second part of the review collection based on the performed literature survey, where more than 250 publications about “Recycling of Lithium-ion Batteries from Electric Vehicles” were divided into five sections: Recycling Processes, Battery Composition, Environmental Impact, Economic Evaluation, and Recycling and Rest. This paper reviews and summarizes 162 publications dedicated to recycling procedures and their environmental or economic perspective. Both reviews cover the techno-environmental economic impacts of recycling spent LIBs from EVs published until 2021.
... • Pyrometallurgical recycling uses furnace-or smelter-based high-temperature processes such as incineration, calcination, pyrolysis, roasting, and smelting to separate and recover the metals in EOL LIBs ). As noted above, pre-processing is optional for certain recyclers using pyrometallurgical methods i.e., when the whole LIB is fed into a high-temperature furnace (Gaines 2019). In pyrometallurgical methods, the electrolyte and the organic materials including the separator and the plastics are combusted, providing energy for the process ). ...
... However, pyrometallurgical recycling is energy-intensive and requires control equipment for environmentally hazardous air emissions. Also, recovery of metals like lithium and aluminum from the slag is currently not economically viable (Gaines 2019), nor is recovery of material components such as in the binders and electrolyte, which are combusted at high temperatures (Harper et al. 2019; It is important to reiterate that the existing analysis of the environmental and economic impacts of the three recycling technologies are based on factors such as current models of sorting recycling facilities and operations, mix of LIB chemistries, and geospatial availability of LIB waste. Further research is needed to analyze newer recycling system designs and LIBs. ...
Article
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A review discusses key insights, gaps, and opportunities for research and implementation of a circular economy for two of the leading technologies that enable the transition to a renewable energy economy, solar PV and lithium-ion batteries (LIB); procedures to critically analyze over 3000 publications on the circular economy of solar PV and LIBs, categorizing those that pass a series of objective screens in ways that can illuminate the current state of the art; existing impediments to a circular economy; and future technological and analytical research.
... While the feasibility of LiB recycling has been proven in certain contexts, there remain a number of important barriers to the widespread adoption of recycling technologies including in more developed economies. One constraint is that existing EV batteries have not been designed with recycling in mind so there is considerable scope to improve the efficiency and versatility of the recycling process to costeffectively handle different types of LiBs, including those using low amounts of cobalt [15]. As the recycling process is capital-intensive, economies of scale issues mean that investment is sensitive to recycling demand, which is, however, uncertain because of many factors including, but not limited to, market size, EV penetration rates, LiB lifespans in their first life serving EVs and subsequent cascades of reuse and repurposes, the enforceability of the bans to landfill LiBs, and the competitiveness of the business. ...
... Some claim that the environmental benefit of hydrometallurgical and pyrometallurgical recycling is insignificant or negligible [27][28][29] while others highlight a wide range of benefits, including resource conservation [30,31], energy saving [32], toxic air pollutant emission reduction [33], and GHG emission reduction [34,35]. In terms of economic impact, researchers have considered different aspects of recycling viability such as material prices [36], scale and chemical composition [37], logistics [33,38], project cashflow and utility rates [39], government subsidy [40], technological choices [15], and the relationship between LiB recycling and EV recycling [41]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Rapid electrification of the transport system will generate substantial volumes of Lithium-ion-battery (LiB) waste as batteries reach their end-of-life. Much attention focuses on the recycling processes, neglecting a broader systemic view that considers the concentration of the costs and impacts associated with logistics and transportation. This paper provides an economic, environmental and geospatial analysis of a future LiB recycling industry in the UK. Hitherto, state-of-the-art assessment methods have evaluated life cycle impacts and costs but have not considered the geographical layer of the problem. This paper develops a GSC derived supply chain model for the UK electric vehicle and end-of-life vehicle battery industry. Considering both pyrometallurgical and hydrometallurgical recycling technologies, the optimisation process takes into account anticipated EV volumes, and, based on anticipated near-term technological evolution of LiBs, the evolution of the mix of battery cathodes in production, and presents a number of scenarios to show where LiB recycling facilities should ideally be geographically located. An economic and environmental assessment based on a customised EverBatt model is provided.
... Current approaches to the recycling of spent LIBs can be classified into pyrometallurgical, hydrometallurgical, and direct recycling as shown in Figure 2 [18]. Pyrometallurgical recycling requires high temperatures to reduce cathode to an alloy of transition metals, which results in high energy consumption and air emission [19]. ...
... Life Cycle of a Lithium-Ion Battery [18]. ...
Article
Lithium-ion battery (LIB)-based electric vehicles (EVs) are regarded as a critical technology for the decarbonization of transportation. The rising demand for EVs has triggered concerns on the supply risks of lithium and some transition metals such as cobalt and nickel needed for cathode manufacturing. There are also concerns about environmental damage from current recycling and disposal practices, as several spent LIBs are reaching the end of their life in the next few decades. Proper LIB end-of-life management can alleviate supply risks of critical materials while minimizing environmental pollution. Direct recycling, which aims at recovering active materials in the cathode and chemically upgrading said materials for new cathode manufacturing, is promising. Compared with pyrometallurgical and hydrometallurgical recycling, direct recycling has closed the material loop in cathode manufacturing via a shorter pathway and attracted attention over the past few years due to its economic and environmental competitiveness. This paper reviews current direct recycling technologies for the cathode, which is considered as the material with the highest economic value in LIBs. We structure this review in line with the direct recycling process sequence: cathode material collection, separation of cathode active materials from other components, and regeneration of degraded cathode active materials. Methods to harvest cathode active materials are well studied. Efforts are required to minimize fluoride emissions during complete separation of cathode active materials from binders and carbon. Regeneration for homogeneous cathode is achieved via solid-state or hydrothermal re-lithiation. However, the challenge of how to process different cathode chemistries together in direct recycling needs to be solved. Overall, the development of direct recycling provides the possibility to accelerate the sustainable recycling of spent LIBs from electric vehicles.
... In the sensitivity analysis, we assumed a lower bound on battery pack salvage value of zero (Dai et al. 2019;Gaines 2019;Harper et al. 2019). For an upper bound on the salvage value of battery packs, we used a model developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) which provides battery salvage value as a percentage of initial purchase price, accounting for the forecasted future new battery price, forecasted battery health, relative cost of refurbishment, and a used product discount (Neubauer and Pesaran 2010). ...
... A PEV owner can salvage the battery by selling it for second-life applications or recycling; unfortunately, both second-life applications and recycling are not profitable at present and will remain so in the near future (Dai et al. 2019;Gaines 2019;Harper et al. 2019). We examine a non-zero battery salvage value in the sensitivity analysis. ...
Technical Report
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This TCO analysis builds on previous work to provide a comprehensive perspective of all relevant vehicle costs of ownership. In this report, we present what we believe to be the most comprehensive explicit financial analysis of the costs that will be incurred by a vehicle owner. This study considers vehicle cost and depreciation, financing, fuel costs, insurance costs, maintenance and repair costs, taxes and fees, and other operational costs to formulate a holistic total cost of ownership and operation of multiple different vehicles.
... The LIB cell has a short life span of just around 1-3 years [10] because of technical drawbacks relating to cycling, elevated temperature, and rate performance [11], which exacerbates the massive generation of spent LIBs. Forecast depicts that about 11 million metric tonnes of spent LIBs are to be discarded by 2030 [12,13]. The recycling rate in the European Union is staggering, and only a meager 5% was recycled in 2010 [14,15], considering this projected demand surge in battery consumption. ...
... The methods have proven to be promising, although the mechanisms of physical and chemical changes during the recycling process need to be explored further. 4. A precarious legal framework is in place for recycling lithium-ion batteries as regulation is much centered on lead-acid battery, which has a recycling rate of ~98% [13]. The weak policy formulation results in poor collection and recycling systems, and this has dire consequences on pyrometallurgy processes as they require a Recycling of traction battery used in an electric vehicle -Recycling-Part 2:Materials recycling requirements constant supply of feed. ...
Article
Lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) have attracted increasing attention for electrical energy storage applications in recent years due to their excellent electrochemical performance. The unprecedented growth trajectory in lithium-ion battery manufacturing perpetuated by the inception of electric vehicles (EV) results in a vast amount of spent LIBs reaching their end of life (EOL). From the perspective of resource circulation, procurement, and sustainability with an insight into the circular economy, an effective recycling system must be developed to recycle the spent LIBs. This paper provides a comprehensive overview of the current status of pyrometallurgical options for recycling spent LIBs. In particular, this study summarizes the thermal pretreatment methods used to recover the active cathode material and then discusses the developed extractive pyrometallurgical options for recycling spent LIBs. A summary is presented on some recent examples of laboratory and industrial-scale recycling processes to demonstrate the practical applications of pyrometallurgical options for recycling. Finally, the review sheds light on the battery recycling legislation, and challenges and future outlook for recycling LIBs are also discussed.
... However, this could come across with process economics, which depends mostly on the recovery of Co, by far the most valuable element in the battery, and research is underway to reduce the quantity of Co used [15]. ...
Article
Full-text available
There are several recycling methods to treat discharged lithium-ion batteries, mostly based on pyrometallurgical and hydrometallurgical approaches. Some of them are promising, showing high recovery efficiency (over 90%) of strategic metals such as lithium, cobalt, and nickel. However, technological efficiency must also consider the processes sustainability in terms of environmental impact. In this study, some recycling processes of spent lithium-ion batteries were considered, and their sustainability was evaluated based on the ESCAPE “Evaluation of Sustainability of material substitution using CArbon footPrint by a simplifiEd approach” approach, which is a screening tool preliminary to the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). The work specifically focuses on cobalt recovery comparing the sustainability of using inorganic or organic acid for the leaching of waste derived from lithium-ion batteries. Based on the possibility to compare different processes, for the first time, some considerations about technologies optimization have been done, allowing proposing strategies able to save chemicals. In addition, the energy mix of each country, to generate electricity has been considered, showing its influence on the sustainability evaluation. This allows distinguishing the countries using more low-carbon sources (nuclear and renewables) for a share of the electricity mix, where the recycling processes result more sustainable. Finally, this outcome is reflected by another indicator, the eco-cost from the virtual pollution model 99′ proposed by Vogtländer, which integrates the monetary estimation of carbon footprint.
... In 2020, consumer electronics products were recycled at a meager rate (we estimate only around 5% of end-of-life functional recycling rate). Our model estimated 7.8 Gg of cobalt outflows from batteries, and battery recycling is notoriously lackluster (Gaines, 2019;Thompson et al., 2020). There is enormous potential for expanding the secondary cobalt supply from this source (Velázquez-Martínez et al., 2019), including the potential extension of the lifespan of spent batteries (Liu et al., 2021). ...
Article
We present a material flow and stock analysis for cobalt use and waste in the United States from 1996 to 2020, including the separation of cobalt flows into six product groups and five end-use sectors. The results demonstrate the importance of U.S. manufacturing for air travel, energy storage, cemented carbides, and numerous other applications. Battery use in the United States has become the primary factor in cobalt demand, but the batteries are manufactured mainly elsewhere. The correlation of cobalt products to principal end-use sectors provides an informed view of the location of cobalt in in-use stocks. Two approaches could primarily address these stocks: enhanced recycling of batteries in consumer/business electronics and implementing cobalt-free substitutes for chemical uses and future battery technologies. Overall, cobalt's uses are as diverse and societally crucial as any element in the periodic table but have heretofore not received the levels of attention they deserve.
... Thus, recovery of the valuable metals from spent LIBs has drawn attention as a strategic measure to offer a chance for EVs more sustainable, practical, and economical [18][19][20][21][22][23][24]. It is expected that 11 million tons of spent LIBs could be generated by 2030 [25]. ...
Article
It is of great importance to seek a sustainable/eco-friendly recycling strategy for spent lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) considering a rapid growth of electric vehicle (EV) market. As such, this study laid a great emphasis on a carbothermic reduction (CTR) process to recover metal(oxide)s from spent LIBs. The CTR process was particularly done from the CO2 environment to offer a more sustainable/favorable valorization platform for spent LIBs. CO2 was used as reaction medium in the CTR process, and such effort led to the enhanced generation of CO by means of CO2 reduction (the Boudouard reaction: CO2 + C ⇌ 2CO). In reference to the CTR process from an inert gas condition, this study confirmed that CO2 changes reduction behaviors of the cathode materials (metals) in LIBs. To scrutinize the reduction mechanisms (of metals in LIBs) induced by CO2, metal recovery of Li, Ni, Co, and Mn from the two atmospheric conditions were determined. Thermodynamic calculations were done to theoretically support all claims given in this study. Enhanced carbon removal and Li2CO3 formation were indeed realized from the CTR process under the CO2 condition, which were beneficial in metal recovery from spent LIBs. As such, this study demonstrates that the CO2-assisted CTR process could offer an environmentally favorable platform for metal recovery from spent LIBs.
... The scope of these publications is diverse: refs. [81,82] deal with mathematical models; impacts of life cycle characterization of LIBs [83,84]; the environmental advantages and disadvantages discussion, e.g., [85,86]; industrial processes and projects description [87][88][89][90][91], and R&D projects in laboratory-scale definition [36,[92][93][94][95]. ...
Article
Full-text available
During recent years, emissions reduction has been tightened worldwide. Therefore, there is an increasing demand for electric vehicles (EVs) that can meet emission requirements. The growing number of new EVs increases the consumption of raw materials during production. Simultaneously, the number of used EVs and subsequently retired lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) that need to be disposed of is also increasing. According to the current approaches, the recycling process technology appears to be one of the most promising solutions for the End-of-Life (EOL) LIBs—recycling and reusing of waste materials would reduce raw materials production and environmental burden. According to this performed literature review, 263 publications about “Recycling of Lithium-ion Batteries from Electric Vehicles” were classified into five sections: Recycling Processes, Battery Composition, Environmental Impact, Economic Evaluation, and Recycling & Rest. The whole work reviews the current-state of publications dedicated to recycling LIBs from EVs in the techno-environmental-economic summary. This paper covers the first part of the review work; it is devoted to the recycling technology processes and points out the main study fields in recycling that were found during this work.
... Advantages and disadvantages of three major LIB recycling technologies[11,15,73,74]. Energy-intensive  Further refining is needed to produce individual metals from produced alloys Hydrometallurgy  Applicable to any battery type  Flexibility in targeting recycled metals  Energy-efficient compared to pyro ...
Article
The demand for lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) has surged in recent years, owing to their excellent electrochemical performance and increasing adoption in electric vehicles and renewable energy storage. As a result, the expectation is that the primary supply of LIB materials (e.g., lithium, cobalt, and nickel) will be insufficient to satisfy the demand in the next five years, creating a significant supply risk. Value recovery from spent LIBs could effectively increase the critical materials supply, which will become increasingly important as the number of spent LIBs grows. This paper reviews recent studies on developing novel technologies for value recovery from spent LIBs. The existing literature focused on hydrometallurgical-, pyrometallurgical-, and direct recycling, and their advantages and disadvantages are evaluated in this paper. Techno-economic analysis and life cycle assessment have quantified the economic and environmental benefits of LIB reuse over recycling, highlighting the research gap in LIB reuse technologies. The study also revealed challenges associated with changing battery chemistry toward less valuable metals in LIB manufacturing (e.g., replacing cobalt with nickel). More specifically, direct recycling may be impractical due to rapid technology change, and the economic and environmental incentives for recycling spent LIBs will decrease. As LIB collection constitutes a major cost, optimizing the reverse logistics supply chain is essential for maximizing the economic and environmental benefits of LIB recovery. Policies that promote LIB recovery are reviewed with a focus on Europe and the United States. Policy gaps are identified and a plan for sustainable LIB life cycle management is proposed.
... Ammonia-based systems can form stable metal ammonia complexes and a fortissimo alkali such as sodium hydroxide can dissolve the cathode current collector to extract the active material [58]. The metal ions could be obtained through precipitation or solvent extraction methods to be reclaimed as salts for battery raw material [59,60]. It is believed that the hydrometallurgical process is more energy and cost-saving than pyrometallurgy in processing batteries and has a higher recovery rate of the metals in batteries [61]. ...
Article
Full-text available
The rapid market expansion of Li-ion batteries (LIBs) leads to concerns over the appropriate disposal of hazardous battery waste and the sustainability in the supply of critical materials for LIB production. Technologies and strategies to extend the life of LIBs and reuse the materials have long been sought. Direct recycling is a more effective recycling approach than existing ones with respect to cost, energy consumption, and emissions. This approach has become increasingly more feasible due to digitalization and the adoption of the Internet-of-Things (IoT). To address the question of how IoT could enhance direct recycling of LIBs, we first highlight the importance of direct recycling in tackling the challenges in the supply chain of LIB and discuss the characteristics and application of IoT technologies, which could enhance direct recycling. Finally, we share our perspective on a paradigm where IoT could be integrated into the direct recycling process of LIBs to enhance the efficiency, intelligence, and effectiveness of the recycling process.
... These companies usually extract valuable metals from waste electric LIBs through a process that combines mechanical methods and hydrometallurgy . First, an optimal basic recycling facility can be established to predict the flow of waste batteries (Gaines, 2019). Then, a waste battery collection system, along with a secondary utilization and recycling system for power battery materials, needs to be developed. ...
Article
The rapid development of lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) in emerging markets is pouring huge reserves into, and triggering broad interest in the battery sector, as the popularity of electric vehicles (EVs)is driving the explosive growth of EV LIBs. These mounting demands are posing severe challenges to the supply of raw materials for LIBs and producing an enormous quantity of spent LIBs, bringing difficulties in the areas of resource allocation and environmental protection. This review article presents an overview of the global situation of power LIBs, aiming at different methods to treat spent power LIBs and their associated metals. We provide a critical review of power LIB supply chain, industrial development, waste treatment strategies and recycling, etc. Power LIBs will form the largest proportion of the battery industry in the next decade. The analysis of the sustainable supply of critical metal materials is emphasized, as recycling metal materials can alleviate the tight supply chain of power LIBs. The existing significant recycling practices that have been recognized as economically beneficial can promote metal closed-loop recycling. Scientific thinking needs to innovate sustainable and cost-effective recycling technologies to protect the environment because of the chemicals contained in power LIBs.
... Clearly, the results illustrate that recovery utilization has great potential in disposing of EOL EV batteries in terms of alleviating resource constraints, as well as gaining economic benefits. However, considering the limits of current technology, the recovery of battery materials is difficult and costly, which is an obstacle to the recovery utilization of EOL EV batteries (Gaines, 2019;Pellow et al., 2020). For example, in China, only 19%, 25%, 13%, and 1% of lithium, cobalt, nickel, and graphite in retired lithium-ion batteries have been recycled currently (Song et al., 2019). ...
Article
A better understanding of the waste of end-of-life batteries from electric vehicles (EVs) is a basis for their sustainable management. This study aims to estimate the waste of end-of-life EV batteries during 2006–2040 in China and to analyze the opportunities and challenges of subsequent utilization, based on a developed numerical model, real market data, and elaborately developed scenarios. The result shows that end-of-life batteries would increase from 0.1 to 7.8 thousand tons during 2012–2018, and then to 1500–3300 thousand tons in 2040. Of the waste streams, around 50% are estimated to be metal materials, representing great opportunities for battery recycling for material recovery. Economically, battery recycling for energy storage is estimated to create more economic benefits compared with that for material recovery solely (147.8 versus 76.9 billion US dollars). However, the supply of end-of-life batteries can hardly meet the demand for renewable energy storage in the near future, and a spatial mismatch of the supply and demand of energy storage capacity exists between the eastern and western regions in China. Accordingly, this study highlights national coordination for the rational layout of the collection, disassembly, and remanufacture facilities for the second use of end-of-life EV batteries in China.
... Due to the high energy consumption, the economy of pyrometallurgical process depends on the metal prices especially Co. As current trend of research is to reduce the quantity of Co in lithium ion battery, the economic challenges is greater down the road [132]. ...
Article
With the increasing market share of lithium-ion battery in the secondary battery market and their applications in electric vehicles, the recycling of the spent batteries has become necessary. The number of spent lithium-ion batteries grows daily, which presents a unique business opportunity of recovering and recycling valuable metals from the spent lithium-ion cathode materials. Various metals including cobalt, manganese, nickel, aluminum, and lithium can be extracted from these materials through leaching with chemicals such as hydrochloric acid (HCl), nitric acid (HNO3), sulfuric acid (H2SO4), oxalate (H2C2O2), DL-malic acid (C4H5O6), citric acid (C6H8O7), ascorbic acid (C6H8O6), phosphoric acid (H3PO4) or acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans. This paper provides a comprehensive review on the available hydrometallurgical technologies for recycling spent lithium-ion cathode materials. The recycling processes, challenges and perspectives reported to date and recycling companies in the market are summarized. To accelerate the development of battery recycling technology toward commercialization, some potential research directions are also proposed in this paper.
... Policy schemes are expected to promote the new technology penetration and regulate the markets [31] . Different technology deployment policies could be summarised and expressed as several key schemes [32] , i.e., direct subsidy, revenue support, tax reduction, government loan, tariff support, green product purchasing, and certificate trading gain. ...
Article
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Increasing electric vehicles (EV) penetration leads to significant challenges in EV battery disposal. Reusing retired batteries in distributed energy systems (DES) offers resource-circular solutions. We propose an optimisation framework to model the emerging supply chains and design strategies for reusing the retired EV batteries in DES. Coupling a supply chain profit-allocation model with a DES design optimisation model, the framework maximises the whole chain profit and enables fair profit distribution between three interactive sectors, i.e., EV, DES, dismantling and recycle (D&R) sectors. Our research highlights the system implications of retired batteries on DES design and new modelling insights into incentive policy effectiveness. Our case study suggests significant potential value chain profits (2.65 million US$) achieved by deploying 10.7 MWh of retired batteries in the DES application with optimal retired battery price of 138 US$/kWh. The revenue support on D&R sector is suggested as a promising incentive scheme than tariff support.
... Policy schemes are expected to promote the penetration of new technologies and regulate the markets (Gaines, 2019). The results of this study indicate that the economic benefits of applying the REVB in the electricity markets in the future scenarios. ...
Article
The lithium-ion batteries of battery electric vehicles are generally replaced when their capacity decays below 80% of the rated capacity. In this way, a large number of retired electric vehicle batteries (REVB) will be produced in a short time and cause new environmental pollution if REVB is not treated properly. To address this problem, one of the major solutions is to realize the echelon utilization of REVB based on the requirements of different application scenarios. Therefore, this study investigates the economic benefits of REVB participating in different Danish electricity markets. The objective function maximizes the profit in the different markets by considering REVB life loss cost in the operational process. Rainflow counting method is employed to accurately estimate the REVB life loss cost, leading to a strong nonlinearity of the optimization problem. Afterward, the simulated annealing based particle swarm optimization (SAPSO) method is used to solve the nonlinear problem and find the optimal operational strategies of the REVB. Finally, a case study considering different situations is provided to analyze the economic benefits of applying REVB in different markets. The results reveal: 1) SAPSO method performs best in finding the optimal results compared with particle swarm optimization and simulated annealing methods, and 2) It is more likely and beneficial to invest in REVB to participate in the regulation market than the day-ahead market. This significance of the study can be summarized as: 1) Theoretically, apart from proposing a simple, cheap, and eco-friendly green strategy, i.e., the echelon utilization of REVB in the Danish electricity market, we advance the knowledge and call for attention about under which conditions that performing a green strategy can allow environmental-economic benefits simultaneously achievable. 2) The study provides new business opportunities for energy storage and new energy industries and can help to realize sustainable development to improve people’s life and environmental quality.
... For NCX and LFP batteries, pyro, hydro, and direct recycling are assumed in the three recycling scenarios, respectively, while mechanical recycling is assumed for Li-S and Li-Air batteries in all three scenarios. Recycling technologies differ in recycled materials, chemical forms, recovery efficiencies, and economic prospects 46,67,68 (Fig. 5). ...
Article
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The world is shifting to electric vehicles to mitigate climate change. Here, we quantify the future demand for key battery materials, considering potential electric vehicle fleet and battery chemistry developments as well as second-use and recycling of electric vehicle batteries. We find that in a lithium nickel cobalt manganese oxide dominated battery scenario , demand is estimated to increase by factors of 18-20 for lithium, 17-19 for cobalt, 28-31 for nickel, and 15-20 for most other materials from 2020 to 2050, requiring a drastic expansion of lithium, cobalt, and nickel supply chains and likely additional resource discovery. However, uncertainties are large. Key factors are the development of the electric vehicles fleet and battery capacity requirements per vehicle. If other battery chemistries were used at large scale, e.g. lithium iron phosphate or novel lithium-sulphur or lithium-air batteries, the demand for cobalt and nickel would be substantially smaller. Closed-loop recycling plays a minor, but increasingly important role for reducing primary material demand until 2050, however, advances in recycling are necessary to economically recover battery-grade materials from end-of-life batteries. Second-use of electric vehicles batteries further delays recycling potentials.
... Policy schemes are expected to promote the new technology penetration and regulate the markets 38 . ...
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Increasing electric vehicles (EV) penetration leads to significant challenges in EV battery disposal. Reusing retired batteries in distributed energy systems (DES) offers resource-circular solutions. We propose an optimisation framework to model the emerging supply chains and design strategies for reusing the retired EV batteries in DES. Coupling a supply chain profit-allocation model with a DES design optimisation model, the framework maximises the whole chain profit and enables fair profit distribution between three interactive sectors, i.e., EV, DES, dismantling and recycle (D&R) sectors. Our research highlights the system implications of retired batteries on DES design and new modelling insights into incentive policy effectiveness. Our case study suggests significant potential value chain profits (2.65 million US$) achieved by deploying 10.7 MWh of retired batteries in the DES application with optimal retired battery price of 138 US$/kWh. The revenue support on D&R sector is suggested as a promising incentive scheme than tariff support.
Article
The accelerating electrification has sparked an explosion in lithium‐ion batteries (LIBs) consumption. As the lifespan declines, the substantial LIBs will flow into the recycling market and promise to spawn a giant recycling system. Nonetheless, since the lack of unified guiding standard and nontraceability, the recycling of end‐of‐life LIBs has fallen into the dilemma of low recycling rate, poor recycling efficiency, and insignificant benefits. Herein, tapping into summarizing and analyzing the current status and challenges of recycling LIBs, this outlook provides insights for the future course of full lifecycle management of LIBs, proposing gradient utilization and recycling‐target predesign strategy. Further, we acknowledge some recommendations for recycling waste LIBs and anticipate a collaborative effort to advance sustainable and reliable recycling routes. The inferior battery lifecycle management has long plagued the recycling of lithium‐ion batteries (LIBs). In response to this problem, this outlook elaborates on the recycling‐oriented intelligent predesign and the gradient utilization of waste LIBs, and gives suggestions for the current challenges, aiming to provide sights for recycling end‐of‐life LIBs in the future.
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Pyrolysis is an effective method to remove organics (e.g. electrolytes and binders) from spent lithium-ion battery (LIB). In this study, the co-pyrolysis characteristics of fluorine-containing substances and active materials from LIB were investigated using thermogravimetric-differential scanning calorimetry (TG-DSC), infrared spectroscopy (IR), and mass spectrometry (MS) analysis. Associated with the pyrolysis, active materials adsorb the residues of electrolyte on the surface and into the pores (20-200 °C), while polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) forms a liquid film to cover the local surface of active materials (400-500 °C). These interactions prevent the deep removal of organics, leaving fluorine-containing contaminants in active materials. The barrier effect of PVDF liquid mesophase on the removal of organics during pyrolysis was confirmed by in situ optical observation. The migration behavior of fluorine element during the pyrolysis of black mass (BM) from spent LIB was also investigated. With pyrolysis temperature increasing from 100 °C to 600 °C, the dissociable fluorine content in pyrolyzed BM increased from 1.4 wt% to 3.7 wt%. The fluorine-containing contaminants in BM cannot be removed in depth by simply increasing pyrolysis temperature. This study provides a better understanding on the transformation of fluorine-containing pollutants during the pyrolysis of BM.
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In recent years, increasing attention has been given to the potential supply risks of critical battery materials, such as cobalt, for electric mobility transitions. While battery technology and recycling advancement are two widely acknowledged strategies for addressing such supply risks, the extent to which they will relieve global and regional cobalt demand–supply imbalance remains poorly understood. Here, we address this gap by simulating historical (1998-2019) and future (2020-2050) global cobalt cycles covering both traditional and emerging end uses with regional resolution (China, the U.S., Japan, the EU, and the rest of the world). We show that cobalt-free batteries and recycling progress can indeed significantly alleviate long-term cobalt supply risks. However, the cobalt supply shortage appears inevitable in the short- to medium-term (during 2028-2033), even under the most technologically optimistic scenario. Our results reveal varying cobalt supply security levels by region and indicate the urgency of boosting primary cobalt supply to ensure global e-mobility ambitions. New study finds cobalt-free batteries and recycling progress can significantly alleviate long-term cobalt supply risks, however a cobalt supply shortage appears inevitable in the short- to medium-term, even under the most technologically optimistic scenario.
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Electro-mobility is considered a key strategy to reduce GHG emissions in the transport sector and to make individual mobility more sustainable. However, the production of electric vehicles is accompanied by high environmental impacts, mainly due to the resource intensive high-voltage battery systems. Hence, a prerequisite for sustainable electro-mobility – beside the provision of renewable energy for vehicle charging – is a well- functioning and efficient circular use system of electric vehicle battery systems (EVBs). While the production of EVBs has been continuously improved in recent years with high levels of automation to reduce production costs and to increase capacities, end-of life (EoL) treatment of EVBs is still rather simplistic with rough manual disassembling before in most cases pyro-metallurgical treatment. In this paper, we argue for the need of industrial disassembly systems to reach higher levels of circularity. In the best case, these systems are highly automated and use lifecycle information including production and use phase data for decision support to enable optimum utilization at a module or even cell level. These pathways include both second-life concepts such as repurposing or reconditioning and high-level direct recycling of active materials. To demonstrate the advantages of an industrial disassembling in EoL battery treatment, we systematically analyze different utilization pathways and we compare state-of-the-art treatment with an advanced disassembly system. The qualitative argumentation is substantiated by quantitative stochastic simulation as well as cost and lifecycle data. We show that only with a well-functioning industrial disassembling, efficient closed-loop-supply-chains (CLSCs) for EVBs can be achieved.
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The performance of lithium-ion battery (LIB) has been studied under various conditions of temperature and load depending on the automotive application, since LIB is dominant in cathode active materials. However, majority of those studies are restricted to automotive applications for investigation of its performance. It is necessary to experiment with the impact of vibration and shock since railway vehicles are exposed to complex vibrations by components, railway conditions, and driving profiles. Because of these complex vibration conditions, the battery can be rapidly degraded along with the battery cycles. Thus, it is important to ensure that the actual battery life can be estimated. In this study, the effect of vibration on the LIB was analyzed. The batteries using three types of cathode active materials were observed in terms of electrical performance through electrical characterization tests. The degradation effects by complex vibrations were analyzed by monitoring its resistance, capacity, and incremental capacity. As a result, a battery with high durability was selected among LIBs with different active materials.
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Lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) have been widely used in electric vehicles due to the advantages of high energy/power densities, high reliability and long service life. However, considering that a massive number of LIBs will likely retire and enter the waste stream in the near future, the handling of end-of-life LIBs must be taken carefully. The effective utilization of retired LIBs, which still remain about 70–80% of the initial capacity, can extend battery life, conserve natural resources and protect the environment. Herein, this review provides a systematic discussion on the circular value chain (CVC) of spent LIBs, and proposes a 5R principle entailing reduce, redesign, remanufacturing, repurpose and recycling in the CVC process. Then the state-of-the-art technologies for remanufacturing, and a thorough summary of key issues and applications of repurpose process, are presented in detail. Subsequently, this article presents a comprehensive discussion on the recycling process, including pre-treatments and mainstream recycling technologies, from the prospects of technical, economic and regulation perspectives. Advanced technologies such as big data, block chain and cloud-based services, as well as the improvement of regulation and standardization processes, are required to solve the issues. Finally, the future challenges and prospects for sustainable CVC are highlighted.
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Electric vehicles (EVs) play a crucial role in addressing climate change and urban air quality concerns. China has emerged as the global largest EV market with 1.2 million EVs sold in 2018. This study established a novel life cycle energy use and emission inventory collecting up-to-date data including the electricity generation mix, emission controls in the power and industrial sectors, and the energy use in the fuel transport to estimate the well-to-wheels (WTW) greenhouse gas (GHG), and air pollutant emissions for battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and gasoline passenger vehicles in China. The results show that an average BEV has 35% lower WTW GHG emissions than an average gasoline car. BEVs reduce volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and nitrogen oxides (NOX) emissions by 98% and 34%, respectively, but have comparable or slightly higher primary fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions. Compact and small-size vehicles generally have lower GHG and air pollutant emissions than mid- and large-size vehicles. Class A vehicles contribute the most in the absolute amount of GHG and air pollutant emissions and therefore have the biggest potential for emission reduction. Our results suggest that global policymakers should continue to promote the transition to clean power sources, emission control, and fuel economy regulations, which are critical to enhancing emission mitigation benefits of BEVs. We also suggest EV development strategies should be formulated targeting vehicle class with the biggest emission mitigation potentials.
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Rapid growth in the market for electric vehicles is imperative, to meet global targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, to improve air quality in urban centres and to meet the needs of consumers, with whom electric vehicles are increasingly popular. However, growing numbers of electric vehicles present a serious waste-management challenge for recyclers at end-of-life. Nevertheless, spent batteries may also present an opportunity as manufacturers require access to strategic elements and critical materials for key components in electric-vehicle manufacture: recycled lithium-ion batteries from electric vehicles could provide a valuable secondary source of materials. Here we outline and evaluate the current range of approaches to electric-vehicle lithium-ion battery recycling and re-use, and highlight areas for future progress. Processes for dismantling and recycling lithium-ion battery packs from scrap electric vehicles are outlined.
Article
Lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) play a significant role in our highly electrified world and will continue to lead technology innovations. Millions of vehicles are equipped with or directly powered by LIBs, mitigating environmental pollution and reducing energy use. This rapidly increasing use of LIBs in vehicles will introduce a large quantity of spent LIBs within an 8–10-year span. Proper handling of end-of-life (EOL) vehicle LIBs is required, and multiple options should be considered. This paper demonstrates that the necessity for EOL recycling is underpinned by leveraging fluctuating material costs, uneven distribution and production, and the transport situation. From a life-cycle perspective, remanufacturing and repurposing extend the life of LIBs, and industrial demonstrations indicate that this is feasible. Recycling is the ultimate option for handling EOL LIBs, and recent advancements both in research and industry regarding pyrometallurgical, hydrometallurgical, and direct recycling are summarized. Currently, none of the current battery recycling technologies is ideal, and challenges must be overcome. This article is anticipated as a starting point for a more sophisticated study of recycling, and it suggests potential improvements in the process through mutual efforts from academia, industry, and governments.
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Key issues for Li-ion battery recycling - Volume 5 - Linda Gaines, Kirti Richa, Jeffrey Spangenberger
The rechargeable battery market and main trends
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Pillot, C. (2019). The rechargeable battery market and main trends 2018-2030 (Avicenne Energy).
Lead, lithium recycling mix: a clear and present.
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America's got a lithium battery problem. Argonne may have the answer
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Editorial Board (2019). America's got a lithium battery problem. Argonne may have the answer, Chicago Tribune, March 8, 2019 https://www. chicagotribune.com/opinion/editorials/ct-editargonne-lithium-battery-recycling-20190311-story.html.
Nobel prize winner says battery recycling is key to meeting electric car demand.
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Suga, M. (2019). Nobel prize winner says battery recycling is key to meeting electric car demand, Automotive News Europe, October 10, 2019
EverBatt: a closed-loop battery recycling cost and environmental impacts model
  • Q Dai
  • J Spangenberger
  • S Ahmed
  • L Gaines
  • J C Kelly
Dai, Q., Spangenberger, J., Ahmed, S., Gaines, L., Kelly, J.C., and Wang, M. (2019). EverBatt: a closed-loop battery recycling cost and environmental impacts model, ANL-19/16 (Argonne National Laboratory).
The rechargeable battery market and main trends 2018-2030.
  • Pillot C.
EverBatt: a closed-loop battery recycling cost and environmental impacts model, ANL-19/16.
  • Dai Q.
  • Spangenberger J.
  • Ahmed S.
  • Gaines L.
  • Kelly J.C.
  • Wang M.